Recently we were asked to come up with a 90 second (max) video for a Bibboards campaign that I was involved in for BibRave. As a BibRave Pro, I get to test out various running products and run races in exchange for reviews on my blog and social media channels.
Bibboards are plastic fasteners that secure your race bib to your shirt without damaging the shirt. They are also much less fiddly than safety pins and don’t need a lot of readjusting that come with that.
My favorite feature however, is the fact you can get your own logo or text printed to them using their online designer.
Here’s the song I wrote for the campaign. I got the idea from the actual bibboards packaging, which had the hash-tag #nopinrev printed on it.
The first cut of the song was just over 2 minutes, so I had to remove a verse and some of the outro to make it fit to the required 90 seconds.
It’s been a while since I’ve had my guitar out and actually wrote anything, so this was a fun (but scary) project for me.
On a cold, crisp October morning, a few friends and I headed into Durham, NC for the Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon.
It was my fourth half marathon (1-Tobacco Road; 2-Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh; 3-Umstead Half) this year and to be honest, I wasn’t feeling in good shape for it — not compared to my fitness levels back in March. Training through the summer in North Carolina was not easy with the constant humidity.
My running buddy, Zach, had ran the course a couple of years back, his first half marathon in fact, and confirmed all the reports I’d been hearing of its hills. I’d only ran the 5 mile course before and was looking forward to the half.
I’ve never really been deterred from entering a race because of hills. I simply adjust my expectations based on it.
Zach had yet to run a half marathon in under two hours, so my plan was to run a steady pace together and push him to a PR. After our hilly half marathon at Umstead, back in June, I knew this may not be easy (for me!).
The race started according to our plan. For the first mile we hovered in around 9:00/mi. If we kept this up and we’ll rock in just under the goal time.
I checked my watch at Mile 2 — 8:40/mi. We probably need to slow down a little bit, we thought. Nope, miles 3-6 flew by easy at the same pace. Yikes! We were going too fast! We were too concerned about catching up with AJ, who shot off like a rocket at the start.
At mile 6 we eventually caught up with AJ. That’s when the first of the hills started rolling in. Mile 7, while not the toughest hill-wise, was our slowest at 9:04/mi, but all was still good. Runners are always doing the math in their heads. We had time to spare.
My fueling plan was the usual, Gatorade Endurance gel pack every 45 mins, and a drink of water at every other aid station. This didn’t go exactly to plan.
I waited a little too long for the first gel pack which maybe explains mile 7. There were some hills during the last third of the course, so I took another one around mile 9.
Mile 9 is when I usually start to suffer in a half marathon, but this time I didn’t feel that. I felt much stronger than normal. The last third of the course hardly slowed our efforts at all. Maybe all that training in North Carolina’s humidity prepared me for this after all?
Again, doing the math, we rocked into mile 10 with big grins on our faces. We knew we had this race in the bag. It would take a really bad 5K now to miss our goal time.
In a final what the heck moment, I consumed an additional gel at mile 12 for the last stretch!
The course kept throwing hills at us in the last couple of miles, but my last two miles were my fastest on the course. I kept my eyes on the prize — the cold beverages at the end.
A lot of our team walked away with HUGE PRs — #breaking2 baby! 😉 Did Zach and I smash our goal? Of course we did! We came in well under the 2 hour goal. Turned out to be my 2nd fastest half marathon after Tobacco Road.
I’m so happy about that. It definitely helped me overcome my summer training slump and restored some confidence as I reach for bigger goals next year.
Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos OOMG Fibre Low shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
You may have seen Oofos sandals in your local running store before. The company focuses on making recovery footwear for runners (and other active people). Their footwear is made from Oofoam which is scientifically proven to help you recover faster and better.
How does it work? The revolutionary Oofoam absorbs 37% more shock in every step. It reduces stress on sore feet, knees and back. On top of that, the shoes have amazing arch support, allowing the feet to move in a natural motion.
On Sunday past we completed our final long run (8 miles) before we run 13.1 miles on the American Tobacco Trail on Sunday, 18th March (which is also the day I can finally place a 13.1 magnet on my car — it’s the little things).
I have regained a lot of confidence that was lost during one of our recent long runs. This Sunday’s run covered a lot of the same route and terrain as before, plus it rained constantly, and it was still a much better experience overall!
This week, training will be lighter and my focus will be on hydrating and sleeping. I want to go into Sunday as fresh as possible. I’m only planning to run on Wednesday (6 miles) and Friday (3-4 miles).
Weather conditions look good for the race, around 50-60°F with a slight chance of rain. I’m not planning to carry any water – I will manage with the water/nuun at the aid stations. I will carry some Honey Stinger gummies though!
Disclaimer: I received free entry to Hot Chocolate 15k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Race Prep & Signup
In a previous post I’d talked about signing up for the Hot Chocolate 15k in Charlotte, and how I had to upload “proof” of previous race times to get assigned a corral on race day.
I received an email after a couple of weeks to say I had been assigned to corral “D”. I had no idea at the time what that would look like except that they started the corrals off 4 mins apart from each other.
Training for the race consisted of my regular weekday runs with slightly longer runs at the weekend. The two weeks before Christmas that I was out with Vertigo set me back both mentally and physically, and I got a little concerned that my target of a 8.30/mi would be hard to achieve.
Disclaimer: I received reflective strips from Brilliant Reflective to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Most of my weekday runs happen before the sun comes up, so that means a lot of road running in the dark. It wasn’t long ago I read a post on our community Facebook page complaining about runners seen early in the morning wearing dark clothing. Yep, that was referring to our running club for sure, and a warning that we were not doing enough to be visible.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you need to hear about Brilliant Reflective strips. They are highly reflective strips that you can apply to your clothes (or other items) and come in both stick-on and iron-on packs.
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I just signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Raleigh, NC on April 8th. It’ll be my second ever Half Marathon and my first time running a Rock ‘n’ Roll series race.
(I’m very excited about how my race schedule is shaping up. It’s only January and I already have more races on my 2018 calendar than I raced last year).
I love the buzz of BIG races, and running through city streets with thousands of other runners. Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh hosted 9000 runners last year! How could I pass up this opportunity to run the streets of Raleigh, when I only live down the road?!
I’ve known about the Rock ‘n’ Roll series races for a number of years, but was not running at the level needed to sign up for a half or full marathon. This year that is changing. I’m running my first half in March this year, and then the Rock ‘n’ Roll half in April.